A new group, the Alliance for New Register, has begun a campaign to quell opposition to EC’s decision to compile a new electoral roll

The group describes itself as a non-partisanship movement, and is calling on Ghanaians to “completely disregard and ignore the lamentations by the National Democratic Congress (NDC), some minority political parties and the Civil Society Organisations who are advocating against the compilation of a new voters’ register ahead of the 2020 general elections.”

According to a statement released on Wednesday, the group said demonstrations by the NDC and its allies against the new voters’ register were needless.

“Those against the compilation of a new voters’ register have no case, their arguments are not logically sound and coherent,” the group said.

According to the group, the EC, under the NDC administration in 2012, compiled a new voters’ register between April to May of the same year. The group said this to reject opposition claims that the EC will not complete the process in time for the December 7 polls.

“That same year, the Electoral Commission created additional 45 constituencies bringing the total to 275 for the 2012 general elections.

“If NDC supported the timelines for new voters’ register in 2012, an election year, why are they now complaining about the same timelines in 2020? This is pure hypocrisy and double standards,” the group alleges.

In the statement, the Alliance for New Voters Register said former EC Chair, Charlotte Osei, spent GHC 487, 998, 714.00 for just a Limited Registration Exercise in 2016.

“That was completely waste of Public Funds. Fast forward to 2020, Jean Mensa leading the EC under Akufo-Addo’s administration is spending Parliamentary approved budget of GHC 390, 265,186.44 for a completely New Voters Register ahead of the 2020 General Elections.

“Jean Mensa-led EC is rather saving monies for the Country as well as preventing us from the wastage of public funds,” the group pointed out.

It said EC must not rely on the Data from National Identification Authority (NIA) for the compilation of the New Voters Register as some have suggested.

“The Ghana Card is not supported by any Law (LI or CI) for the conduct of elections in Ghana. There are no provisions in the NIA Act which give its legal backing to use the Ghana Card for the conduct of elections in Ghana.

“The Ghana Card Registration was never done based on Polling Stations unlike Electoral Commission whose Registration is done at the Polling Stations level across the country,” the statement added.

Stating what it believes to be the benefits of the new register that is billed to start in April, the group said the compilation of a new register for the 2020 polls would help the Electoral Commission to avoid the payment of over $400 million as the annual maintenance fee for the EC Data Centre.

“The new register would avoid the expensive payments for updating the obsolete Data Centre, refurbishing of obsolete BVR Kits and upgrading of obsolete BVDs.

Alliance for a New Register said the new electoral roll will successfully generate new Codes for the newly created six regions including its polling stations and constituencies.

It will successfully implement the ROPAL as ruled by the Supreme Court of Ghana and block people who want to use NHIS Cards as ID for registration into the new voters’ register, the group said.